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by Gemma Holloway on 3rd June 2014
As the SEO industry progresses it’s becoming less about ticking boxes and more about providing a better experience for your users. To do this, the first place you need to start is with Analytics – it’s fundamental to a successful SEO campaign.
In previous years it could be argued that succeeding at SEO didn’t require much expertise. The process involved ticking boxes, therefore, by making sure as many boxes were ticked as possible, you were likely to see some benefit. But as Google have cracked down on spam, this approach has become less effective, requiring a lot more expertise.
Ultimately Google want to satisfy their users, and to do this, they will rank sites which provide a high quality user experience. This is where the use of Analytics comes into play. Google already track a multitude of metrics on your website (some of which you probably weren’t even aware off). You can see these by using the Event Tracking Tracker extension in Chrome.
They don’t track this data without a reason. They use these metrics to analyse and determine the quality of the experience your website provides to its users. Therefore, if Google deems your user experience to be poor, guess what!? Your search engine rankings will be too.
Interpretation of data is key. By accurately interpreting the data within your Google Analytics account you can get insights into your website which allow you to make improvements to satisfy your audience.
There is no longer a ‘quick win’. In past times, a few new links being built would mean your website would see a rise in search engine rankings. But in today’s digital world, if you see an undeserved increase in rankings, that will be reflected in the engagement metrics of the resulting traffic and, you can bet your bottom dollar that your new keyword rankings won’t be there for long.
In my experience I have noticed a trend of poorly built sites, offering particularly low user experience, questioning what they can do to improve their SEO. They are willing to jump all the hoops; new links, creating content, implementing all the technical recommendations under the sun. But, the truth is, your website can tick every box in the book, but unless your users are happy with your website, you simply won’t see the SEO gains you desire.
Whilst carrying out this user-focused analysis can have huge benefits on your SEO gains, it can also hold benefits for your overarching digital strategy too. Not only will it help satisfy users from Organic traffic, but other traffic sources too; your users enjoy your site and as a result, you reap the benefits – everybody wins!
In the previous world of ticking boxes, SEO was much easier for anyone to succeed at. It simply meant following a to-do list and implementing the various requirements. But as the industry has become more complex, not everyone can do the job. It’s all well and good collecting the necessary data, but unless you have the skillset to accurately interpret that data, then you won’t make the optimal updates to your website to influence user engagement metrics accordingly.
Whilst there are some easy-to-evaluate engagement metrics, i.e. bounce rate, pages per visit etc., your expertise and analysis is likely to correlate with the SEO improvement you see – leading to more innovative data analysis reaping the larger benefits. The more expert the analysis, the more optimal the website updates you carry out and the more satisfied your users are. It really is a clever game.
So, first things first, it is important to ensure you’re tracking your web analytics as accurately and in-depth as possible. Once you have all the tracking required and your collecting lots of juicy data you need to consider how best to perform the analysis which will deliver you the important insights for improvements to your site. It may be that you already have someone in-house with this skillset,or want to give the analysis a go yourself. However, smarter and higher-level analysis will help you see the benefits – so make sure you don’t assign this task to just anyone. Be sure to use an expert.
No longer do you need to think what do Google want? You need to become Google, tracking what they track, carrying out analysis of the data in-line with their analysis so that we can make improvements to our websites in an attempt to improve those crucial metrics which effective SEO.
For more information on data analysis services from Koozai, contact us online.
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